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ESIL Research Forum, Glasgow 31 March – 1 April 2022:
“International Law and Global Security: Regulating an Illusion?”

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On 31 March and 1 April 2022, the Glasgow Centre for International law & Security (GCILS) in cooperation with the University of Glasgow and the European Society of International Law (ESIL) had the pleasure to host the ESIL Research Forum 2022. Convened under the theme of “International Law and Global Security: Regulating an Illusion?”, this year’s edition of the annual Research Forum was held against the backdrop of the invasion of Ukraine.

The main ESIL RF events were preceded by ESIL Interest Groups’ Workshops taking place in the Stair Building of the School of Law on the 30 March.

The Research Forum’s programme incorporated many areas of international law, ranging from maritime security, the UN as a security actor and human rights law to areas like economic and cyber security. Throughout the two conference days, speakers were able to present their research papers in parallel panel sessions, benefiting from individual feedback by senior researchers in the field acting as discussants and further input from discussion rounds with the broader audience. Several ESIL interest groups as well as the ESIL board were also able to meet before the official start of the Research Forum.

Participants engaged with this overarching theme through a mix of panels, roundtables and a keynote. All sessions took place in the iconic main building of the University of Glasgow in Glasgow’s buzzing West End.

For more details on the Conference theme click here.

On the main stage, we had the pleasure of welcoming a keynote speech by Diane Marie Amann (University of Georgia), who spoke on the topic of “No Exit at Nuremberg: the Post-War Order as Stage for 21st Century Global Insecurity”, as well as a Rapid Response Panel on the war in Ukraine. Speakers included Mykola Gnatovsky, Lauri Mälksoo and Daria Shapovalova who shared personal and legal reflections on the situation in Ukraine and underlined the role of international law in the current geopolitical context. A final roundtable with Robin Geiß (UNIDIR) who was joined by Annie Pues, Mavluda Sattorova and Jean d’Aspremont reflected on the overarching theme of “Global Security: Regulating an Illusion?”.

For many participants, the ESIL Research Forum marked the first in-person event after two years of pandemic restrictions and the interest and registration numbers exceeded our expectations, just under 100 attendees came to Glasgow!

Although participants were also able to take part in the hybrid event via Zoom (and we had almost 170 online participants), those who were able to join us in Glasgow were invited to enjoy the benefit of several networking and social events, allowing for all to mix and mingle – including early career researchers, speakers, board members, volunteers and organisers. Amongst the activities they took part in were a drinks reception at the Hunterian Museum, a conference dinner and a special interactive session for early career researchers, fostering the exchange between junior and senior researchers in the European Society of International Law and exploring new ideas on how to integrate early career researchers within the society. The rich exchange during these sessions has been a great contribution to the future work of ESIL.

We are hoping to share recordings of a few sessions on our website, so please watch this space.

We’ve also put together a slideshow with some photos from the event– please click on the link below and enjoy the journey down memory lane:

The ESIL RF 2022 was a fantastic experience for GCILS and for the attendees, and a great step of returning to the post-covid normality and face-to-face events.

We would like to thank everyone who made this event such an enjoyable one, from participants, discussants and speakers to organisers and sponsors – Scottish Council on Global Affairs (SCGA) and Dentons Solicitors. A special thank you goes out to our volunteers from the University of Glasgow School of Law whose effort and commitment have allowed the conference to run smoothly. The next ESIL Annual Conference will take place in Utrecht and the next Research Forum will be held in Tartu, Estonia.